Moreland Council opposes LXRP heritage Permit in the Moreland Reserves

Save the trees Gandolfo Gardens

Moreland Council passed a resolution unanimously opposing the LXRP heritage permit and asking for more details of other options that could be employed to retain more trees.

The Officer report (PDF 57.9MB) concluded:

The application for the substantial removal of trees within Gandolfo Gardens and Moreland
Station Reserve should not be supported, and it is recommended that Council advocates
strongly for further investigation of the opportunities to relocate the station further south or on
the southern side of Moreland Road.

It is recommended Council requests Heritage Victoria to seek further consideration of
alternative solutions including the relocation of the new station further south. Further, any
decision should also be delayed by Heritage Victoria until the outcome of the nomination
process is known.

The motion that was passed:

Council:

  1. Notes the Heritage Victoria application P31649 for a permit to facilitate site construction requirements, Service and Combined Services Route works and temporary relocation and restoration of items within and adjacent to Moreland Station Reserves including the eastern reserve and western reserve (Gandolfo Gardens).
  2. Writes to Heritage Victoria and makes a submission to Heritage Victoria application P31649 containing the following key points:
    • a) Council does not support application P31649, which includes substantial tree removal within Gandolfo Gardens and Moreland Station reserve;
    • b) Heritage Victoria is requested to delay a recommendation on the permit application until the outcome of the nomination process is complete;
    • c) The Level Crossing Removal Project Heritage Impact Statement, prepared by GJM Heritage, fails to appreciate the established local significance of the Gandolfo Gardens;
    • d) Heritage Victoria is requested to seek further justification from the Level Crossing Removal Project and North Western Program Alliance for the location of the new station including whether this is the best outcome from a heritage perspective.
    • e) Heritage Victoria is requested to seek information and detail from the Level Crossing Removal Project and North Western Program Alliance regarding:

      i. Additional information on the physical state of Signal 35 and additional justification for removal of ‘push rods and other infrastructure at ground level’;

      ii. Additional information on the methodology for relocating three Canary Date Palms and that the methodology be independently peer reviewed by an expert with suitable qualifications to assess impact on the palms;

      iii. Archival quality photographic survey of items to be removed and stored;

      iv. Detailed existing drawings including plans, elevations and sections of the Moreland Signal Box;

      v. A Conservation Works Plan which indicates in detail the methodology for dismantling (including labelling parts), transport, confirmation of where materials will be stored, and the methodology for reconstruction.

    • f) Heritage Victoria is requested to seek further information from the Level Crossing Removal Project which demonstrates the overall approach to heritage and how the design will impact on all heritage assets within the Upfield Rail Precinct, including responses to how specific assets with be treated, retained, restored, repurposed etc.
    • g) Heritage Victoria is requested to secure a financial bond from the Level Crossing Removal Project and North Western Program Alliance for the safeguarding and guaranteed reconstruction and relocation of significant elements.
  3. Writes to the Level Crossing Removal Project and the State Government seeking:
    • a) Justification for why the new station cannot be constructed to straddle Moreland Road or be located on the south side of Moreland Road;
    • b) Evidence that the North West Program Alliance has suitably investigated alternate options which maximise the retention of significant trees with demonstrated local heritage within the Gandolfo Gardens and Moreland Station Reserves as per the Level Crossing Removal Project’s Urban Design Framework.
  4. Notes the recommendation of the Executive Director of Heritage Victoria and assessment of cultural heritage significance under Part 3 of the Heritage Act 2017, at Attachment 3 to this report, in relation to the proposed nomination to amend the statement of significance for Victorian Heritage Register (VHR) H0952.
  5. Makes a submission to the Heritage Council of Victoria opposing the conclusions of the recommendations in relation to the proposed nomination to amend the statement of significance for Victorian Heritage Register H0952, consistent with Council’s submissions to Heritage Victoria Permit applications P31649 and P3153

Confidential agreement between Moreland Council and LXRP

A question to Council during public question time asked if there was a memorandum of Understanding between Council and the level Crossing Removal Authority, and whether it can be made public.

The answers were: Yes to the existence of the agreement, and No the information is confidential and will not be made public.

Cr Riley offered a follow up response on Facebook:

“this MoU was signed many years ago. It’s confidential as it is an officer to officer Memorandum of Understanding. It’s not selling out the community. Although I can see why you are concerned because it should have been made clearer to the community that this was a pre-existing agreement. It allows officers to exchange information and details etc. It’s not in any way letting the Council officers make decisions on the community’s behalf or Council’s behalf. This is a key difference! We need to work to together to get the best outcomes for the community. Despite any MoU between staff at the LXRP and staff at Moreland City. I wish I could change this system, but unfortunately we are stuck with it.”

Council orders report on Veloway, bike bridges feasibility

A Notice of motion (PDF) called for a report into the feasability of a veloway or bike bridges to be prepared by Council officers.

The motion was passed unanimously.

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